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LEADING THE FIELD

Building upon techniques from narcotics detection, cadaver detection, and search and rescue, we pioneered ways to use dogs’ extraordinary sense of smell to protect wildlife and wild places.

Our dogs can detect weeds before they break the surface, animals that live below ground, and aquatic organisms invisible to the human
eye. Our co-founders were the first to train dogs to detect wide-ranging carnivores non-invasively, to uncover illegal snares in Africa, and to find invasive plants, insects, and fish.

We are also at the forefront of the fight against wildlife trafficking, training dogs to detect ammunition, guns, poisons, snares, ivory, rhino horn, and pangolin scales.

PARTNERS & CLIENTS

We work closely with agencies, NGOs, researchers, and industry.

We provide everything from study design and methodology development to joint fundraising, data collection, GIS mapping, data analysis, and reporting.

In the process, we offer a second chance to high-drive shelter dogs, many of whom would have been euthanized if we had not put them to work saving wildlife. 

We work as fee-for-service contractors, collaborators on joint projects, or in some cases, we are able to provide our services for free.

OUR VALUES

We value the identities and lived experiences of all individuals and cultures.  We recognize all that diversity brings to our lives and work, including the rich expressions and perspectives that span race, gender, culture, values, economics, geography, and all social identity groups. 

 

We respect, celebrate, and most importantly, commit to promoting and protecting Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, within our organization, and in the wider world.  More specifically, we will:

  • Recognize the injustices of the past and work to understand the harms and structural elements that remain in today’s world;
  • Do the hard work to recognize and own our biases and limitations, and most importantly, to address them;
  • Establish and maintain a work environment and culture that embodies these values;
  • Ensure our partners and the beneficiaries of our work strive to do the same. 
  • Commit to equity as a process, awareness, and way of being, (rather than a 1-off fix, or event).
  • Finally, and most importantly, we will not remain silent.  We commit to interrupt bigotry, hatred, racism and oppression, even when they are subtle, structural and/or hidden, and even when there are costs to acting.  

We know this work will be hard and at times possibly even contentious. And we know that we won’t do it perfectly. Our commitment is to work hard and to do better, knowing that we will never be perfect. 

 

WD4C has established a Committee of Staff, Board, and Community Partners, who will measure and track our progress in the contexts of environmental Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (the JEDI Committee), and hold us all accountable as stakeholders in this shared endeavor.

 

On Pronouns:

WD4C respects gender identity.  We understand that we cannot assume to know each others’ pronouns by our names or appearance.  For some of us, it is a privilege not to have to worry about which pronoun will be used based on how our gender is perceived. If we fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful but also oppressive. WD4C normalizes the practice of sharing our pronouns to challenge the belief that all pronouns can be assumed and to create a supportive community for all people.

          

Our Actions: 

We consider it essential to live the values we espouse.  Toward that end, we have undertaken the following actions:

Actively working to learn and grow as individuals.

All WD4C Staff are expected to do Individual, personal work to understand and promote equity. Everyone is given paid work time each week to undertake this work. 

Making WD4C a more equitable Organization:

  • WD4C reviewed and updated our HR Manual
    • We strengthened our non-discrimination framework and expanded the language outlining protected classes and identities;
    • We updated our paid time off policy to recognize Indigenous People’s day, and the MLK and Junteenth Holidays.
    • Disruption of racism and oppression was upgraded from an employee’s right, to an affirmative duty.
  • We have evaluated our hiring practices to promote a more diverse candidate pool and equitable candidate evaluations for future positions.
  • We are instituting a tracking protocol for diversity in our Board, Staff, partners, and the beneficiaries of our programmatic work. 
  • Equity as part of every employee’s workplan
    • Individual work mentioned above
    • Implicit bias training
    • Paid volunteer time
    • Equity in practice as part of job performance
  • WD4C Matching for Employee Donations
  • We will institute a mandatory land acknowledgement for events at our Headquarters, which sits on Salish Territory.  Our signage and messaging will also include land acknowledgement whenever the property or activities there are described.
  • We are seeking to establish a Director of Equity, who will implement the ideas and values here and ensure that they are represented in our work, culture and day-to-day operations. 
  • We are working to establish an active and meaningful environmental justice program to carry out projects that address environmental inequity and partner with and support communities that disproportionately bear the costs of environmental degradation.
  • Finally-- for now, as we recognize this work is never finished-- we are committing to establishing and maintaining an organizational culture that recognizes our deficiencies and constructively works to improve our positive impacts and minimize or eliminate our negative impacts.  We recognize our limitations, missteps and blind spots and those of the people and institutions around us.  In the face of these challenges, we commit to engaging and working to improve the situations we encounter (rather than simply call out or “score points” from recognizing problems).